House star Lisa Edelstein at Wolfson Medican Center in Holon

House himself couldn’t make it, but members of the cast of the popular TV medical drama “House,” along with its creator and executive producer, were in Israel last week as part of a tour organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Foreign and Tourism ministries, and the America’s Voices in Israel group.

The press also highlighted the Holon hospital’s “Save a Child’s Heart” program, which brings youngsters from all over the world for heart surgeries. The photo of actor Lisa Edelstein, who plays Dr. Cuddie (always one of my favorites) on the show holding a baby from Tanzania certainly increased the PR value of the trip.

Show creator David Shore also got to visit with his family – his two brothers have made aliyah.

I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of the trip was: was it to help the actors and lead writer better understand the types of procedures they perform on the show – the crew visited the medical simulation ward in Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer as well as the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon – or was it a junket intended to make good press – the actors also swam in the Sea of Galilee, toured the tunnels under the Western Wall and visited Yad Vashem?

Probably a little of both. It certainly made the front page of the local Jerusalem Post over the weekend and was written up in most of the Jewish and Israeli press – Haaretz, Ynet, JTA, the Jewish Journal – as well as a host of House-related fan blogs (I did not know there was a site dedicated just to Dr. Cuddy).

Where the coverage didn’t appear: outside the Jewish press. Perhaps if lead actor Hugh Laurie had come, it would have been different. But Dr. House apparently had other commitments.